People in glass Trump Towers shouldn’t throw stones — or, perhaps, throw around accusations of rape, as one Donald Trump did recently in his now infamous remarks suggesting that Mexican immigrants are a bunch of rapists.
A must-read story yesterday in The Daily Beast points out that Trump is not only a rape accuser of sorts, but someone who was once very publicly accused of rape — by his now-former wife Ivana Trump, who, in a deposition in her divorce case against the Donald in the early 90s, said that she’s been attacked one night by her then husband in a fit of rage, screaming at her and pulling out her hair before ripping off her clothes and raping her.
The Beast reports that, according to Lost Tycoon, a 1993 book about Trump by journalist Harry Hurt III, Ivana told her closest friends that “he raped me.” Later, though, in a statement she provided through Trump’s lawyers, and that was reprinted in the book as “A Notice to Readers,” Ivana backed away from the R-word, saying that
[a]s a woman, I felt violated, as the love and tenderness, which he normally exhibited towards me, was absent. I referred to this as a ‘rape,’ but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense.
Make of that what you will.
At the time, the Daily Beast notes, Trump declared the account in the book
incorrect and done by a guy without much talent … He is a guy that is an unattractive guy who is a vindictive and jealous person.
But even more remarkable than this bizarre denial was the even Trumpier response that Michael Cohen, one of Trump’s lawyers, gave to the Daily Beast writer who asked him about the allegations:
You’re talking about the front-runner for the GOP, presidential candidate, as well as private individual who never raped anybody.
Evidently one cannot be a rapist if one is polling better than Jeb Bush.
And, of course, understand that by the very definition, you can’t rape your spouse.
As the Beast points out, Cohen is completely wrong here. Not only is marital rape illegal in New York state now; it was illegal in New York state in 1989, the date of the alleged rape.
Perhaps sensing he wasn’t getting anywhere with the “you can’t rape your spouse” angle, “Trump’s lawyer then changed tactics,” the Beast reports,
lobbing insults and threatening a lawsuit if a story was published.
“I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we’re in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don’t have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know,” Cohen said. “So I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?”
“You write a story that has Mr. Trump’s name in it, with the word ‘rape,’ and I’m going to mess your life up…for as long as you’re on this frickin’ planet…you’re going to have judgments against you, so much money, you’ll never know how to get out from underneath it,” he added.
Someone’s a bit grouchy.
Cohen continued, telling the Beast that
there is nothing reasonable about you wanting to write a story about somebody’s usage of the word ‘rape,’ when she’s talking [about] she didn’t feel emotionally satisfied.”
“Though there’s many literal senses to the word, if you distort it, and you put Mr. Trump’s name there onto it, rest assured, you will suffer the consequences. So you do whatever you want. You want to ruin your life at the age of 20? You do that, and I’ll be happy to serve it right up to you,” he added.
Given that the Beast ran the story, and we’re talking about it now, it kind of, sort of, appears that Cohen’s Trumpian lawyering backfired a little bit. And that’s a very good thing, because this is a story that needs to be re-aired.